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Carleton Ravens defensive pressure too much for Memphis Tigers

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Ottawa, Ont. – The Carleton Ravens behind a stellar-defensive game-plan and scorching second-half routed the Memphis Tigers 92-60 to wrap-up the NCAA/CIS preseason schedule with a 4-1 record over NCAA teams and earn a 2-0 sweep of the visiting Tigers at the Ravens Nest in Ottawa.

The Ravens jumped ahead 20-11 in the first-quarter on the strength of their suffocating team-defense  forcing Memphis into to nine points off of eight turnovers in the first ten minutes of the game and never looking on their way to their largest margin (32 points) of victory over a NCAA division one team.

Three-time CIS MVP and four-time champion Philip Scrubb (Richmond, BC) continued his hot start to his fifth and final year in Ravens uniform with another 30-point performance on a sizzling 9-0f-15 shooting from the floor, 5-of-9 from 3-pointers and a perfect 7-of-7 from the foul-line. Connor Wood (Guelph, Ont) was also on fire with 21-points on 5-of-7 triples. Thomas Scrubb added 13 points plus seven rebounds and sophomore J.E Pierre-Charles rounded out the scoring with efficient 8 points and seven rebounds for the Ravens.

The Ravens defense picked up multiple charge calls and limited Memphis to 20-of-40 shooting (40%) in the game. The Tigers once again struggled to connect from the outside going 1-of-12 (8.3%) and just 19-of-33 from free-throws.

“I don’t think we did a great job rebounding, but I thought we did a great job defensively, we were willing to take hits, willing to stand and take some charges. We kinda of played little pretty boy basketball the first four-games and got by on talent and making some plays defensively without actually being tough about it. I think today we took some hits from some pretty big athletic guys and took their aggressiveness away by taking some charges.” discussed Ravens head coach Dave Smart after the win.

Smart was able to rest his starters shutting the Scrubb brothers with over five-minutes in the game giving the Ravens bench a valuable experience against a top caliber NCAA team. “I think it’s good, I think Mitch Jackson has a chance to be special, I really do, he’s a 17-year kid coming from Regina as true great grade-twelve. He played in Regina and there is not the same competition and he is doing a great job in our practices, I think he did a good job when he was out there.” further described Smart when asked if he was pleased with his bench play.

Carleton bench combined for 18 points in the contest with all but one player hitting the score-sheet.

Memphis playing in their fourth-game in four nights was led by point-guard Pookie Powell’s 13 points, Chris Hawkins also reached double-figures with 10 points, five rebounds including an emphatic put-back dunk in the second-quarter.  Shaq Goodwin added 9 points and five rebounds for the Tigers.

“Well, we are not going to use the excuse on fatigue, I mean it is four-games in four days is hard, especially with only eight guys, we were a little exhausted but Carleton deserves the credit they just shot the daylights out of it again in the second-half. First-half we held them for 2-of-12 from three and then in the second-half they were 9-of-11 and that just opened the game, we were 1-of-12, with 21 turnovers isn’t going to do, 19-33 from the free-throw line and you are going to lose the game by a lot against a really well coached team with good players.” Tigers head coach Joshua Pastner told BasketballBuzz briefly outside the lock-room.

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Memphis finished it’s 2014 Canadian tour with a record of 2-2, picking wins over the Ottawa Gee-Gees and the McGill Redmen in Montreal.

“It was great for us, we needed to get exposed on some things and that’s why I wanted to come over here because I knew the competition was good, we needed good competition specially with us being so young in the back-court, very inexperienced, the only guy that has played meaningful minutes that was with us was Shaq Goodwin from last year, Nick King played in the second-half of the season was in rotation, everybody barely played minutes so this was an opportunity to really give guys playing time to see who can do what and who cannot do what and have a good evaluation.”

“Canada was great the hospitality was great, you know the people are great, very good basketball here, great shooters. Pastner added about his experience on Canadian soil.

Carleton wrapped-up another successful NCAA series with a 4-1 record and will have the opportunity to add to it’s recent success against top calibre NCAA teams when it visits the Carrier Dome on Nov. 2nd for a date against the Syracuse Orange.

For Smart and his Ravens the sights are now set and focused on adding to the silverware and defending the CIS Men’s National championship. When asked how his team will stay focused, knowing they just blew-out a Memphis team that many of his own players will be bracket-picking come March Madness, while also knowing they will not play another CIS team with as much speed and athleticism during their upcoming season.

“Well it’s easy when the number one team in the country is five minutes away. I think across the board everybody in our country, like coaches, players think Ottawa U is the number one team in the country, and you know what, don’t disagree with that. If our guys can’t stay focus with the fact that they are five minutes down the road, and it kept them focused so it should keep us focused. They got a pretty scary basketball and they are only five minutes away.”

The Ravens and the Gee-Gees will get acclaimed to one another on Saturday January 10, 2015 and once again on Friday February 6th on the big stage at the Canadian Tire Centre.

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New wave of Canadian Freshmen making NCAA splash

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New Wave Canadian Basketball Freshmen Making NCAA Splash

There’s a new wave of rising Canadians basketball players making an early NCAA splash. Below we take a look at freshmen players that are making their mark on the college basketball landscape. Like previous years, look for most of the names on this list to become household names come March Madness and a select few to continue Canada’s NBA takeover.

Oshea Brissett New Wave Canadian NCAA Freshmen

Oshea Brissett (Mississauga, ON) – Syracuse Orange

Oshea Brissett – Syracuse Orange

Brissett has been arguably the best freshman in college basketball. The 6’8″, 210 lbs forward from Mississauga, Ontario is beasting the opposition, averaging 13.6 points per game, including a team-high 9.2 rebounds (55th in all of the nation.) A true special talent, he has already racked-up four double-doubles in his first eight games, missing two more by just a single rebound. Look for Brissett to continue his torrid start to season as he helps the Syracuse Orange make a run at a conference title in the tough Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Although early in the season, Brissett is looking more and more like a true one and done prospect. Expect a green room invitation come June 2018 at NBA Draft.

Canadian Lindell Wigginton Iowa State Cyclones NCAA

Lindell Wigginton (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) Iowa State Cyclones

Lindell Wigginton – Iowa State Cyclones

Looking for stability at the guard position? Well, look no further than Lindell Wigginton. A true versatile bucket getter, with major hops (38″ vertical), he currently leads all Canadian freshmen in scoring at 16.3 points per game while contributing in other aspects with 4 rebounds and 2.6 assists. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia product is shooting a healthy 46.3 % from the field,  48.9% from three-pointers and has reached double-figures scoring in 7-of-9 games, including a season best 28-points, 7 rebound performance against Northern Illinois. Although, the tougher part of the Big 12 conference schedule remains, it is clear that in less than ten games Wigginton has solidified himself as a go to option in the fast paced Cyclones offensive system. Expect the 6’2″, 188 lbs guard to flourish all-season long as he looks to fulfill is long time dream of playing in the NBA.

Nickeil Alexander Walker Virginia Tech Hookies New Wave Canadian NCAA Freshmen

Nickeil Alexander Walker (Toronto, ON) Virginia Tech Hokies

Nickeil Alexander-Walker – Virginia Tech Hokies

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Talk about talent. Standing 6’5″ tall, weighing-in at 210-pounds, is Toronto, Ontario freshman Nickeil Alexander-Walker. A diamond in the rough find for head coach Buzz Williams and Virgina Tech. The Hokies, traditionally not a prime destination for top Canadian prospects is seeing just how special Alexander-Walker can be early-on. The 19-year-old kicked-off his NCAA career with scoring outbursts against Detroit Mercy (24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) and Citadel (29 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) and is an integral reason for the Hokies early season success. A knock-down shooter (.529%, FG% .477% 3-pointers) with a 7-footer wing-span Alexander Walker is averaging 14.4 per game, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. A triple-threat he is comfortable handling the rock as well as, dishing off no looks, as he is scoring.

Shai Gilgeous Alexander Kentucky Wildcats New Wave Canadian NCAA Freshmen

Shai Gilgeous Alexander Hamilton/ON) – Kentucky Wildcats

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – Kentucky Wildcats

It’s hard to talk about Shai-Gilgenous-Alexander (6’6″, 180 lbs, Hamilton/ON) without mentioning the aforementioned Nickeil Alexander-Walker. After-all, both are cousins, their names resemble each other, their games even more. What-else, they played, dominated and caused headaches for coaches as a dynamic high school back-court duo for Hamilton Heights Christian Academy, winning a State title along the way. Now they find themselves on the biggest stage of college basketball doing similar things for highly respected basketball teams. Despite coming off the bench Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 28.2 minutes per game, good for second on a team that also features a bevy of NBA prospects, including Hamidou Diallo, P.J Washington. A efficient natural stat-stuffer he’s averaging 10.1 points, a team-high 4.4 assists per game along side 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game.

Marcus Carr Pittsburg Panthers New Wave Canadian NCAA Freshmen

Point Guard Marcus Carr (Toronto/ON) – Pittsburgh Panthers

Marcus Carr – Pittsburgh Panthers

A true floor general, Marcus Carr (6’1″, 185 lbs, Toronto/ON) has taken charge and ignited the Pittsburgh Panthers rebuilding offense. Carr’s strong play has propel the Panthers to a early four-game winning streak. The pass-first guard scored a career-best 23 points in a overtime win over St. Mary’s and has scored in double-digits in the five of the past six Panthers contests. Currently averaging 12 points, 3.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds, including shooting a 48% from the field, 48.1% from downtown and Steve Nash like 921% from the charity stripe. Despite his size Carr is strong enough to finish through contact and loves to gets under your chin with defensive pressure.

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Montreal’s Luguentz Dort commits to Arizona State Sun Devils

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Montreals Luguentz Dort Arizona State Sun Devils

Five star Canadian Guard Lugentz Dort has committed to Bobby Hurley and the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Dort a 6-5, 220lbs, product of Montreal, Quebec has been one of the most exciting Canadian Basketball prospects in recent years, combining raw speed, with gifted athletic ability, the the 2018 elite top prospect is expected to boast the Sun Devils credibility in a tough PAC 12 conference.

Dort narrowed down his list of top schools from Baylor, eventually settling with the upstart Sun Devils program that will help him transition from a two-guard to a more accomplished point-guard.  After all, Coach Hurley knows a thing or two about playing the point, having played the position for the Duke Blue Devils  in the early 90’s and over 269 games in the NBA.

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Highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide Return To Canada

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Alabama Crimson Tide Avery Johnson Return To Canada

The Alabama Crimson Tide led by former NBA Head Coach Avery Johnson, a 16-year veteran and NBA champion point-guard during his playing days will bring his highly touted Alabama Crimson Tide to Canada for series of games against Canada’s top university basketball programs.

The Crimson Tide will visit both Montreal and Ottawa for a three-game exhibition schedule against McGill Redmen (Mon Aug 7), Carleton Ravens (Wed Aug 9) and the Ottawa Gee-Gees (Thu Aug 10).

The Tide competed hard last year and took a step in the right direction with a 19-15 record, 10-8 SEC record and have NCAA March Madness tournament aspirations thanks to solid recruiting class which ranks amongst the nations best.

Led by a talented crop of returning guards, Dazon Ingram (10.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG), Riley Norris (9 PPG, 3 RPG), the coaches son Avery Johnson Jr. and forwards Braxton Key the Tide will be a handful for the it’s Canadian opposition.

Key a 6’8″, 220 lbs flirted with the  2017 NBA draft after a stellar freshman season, the Charlotte, NC native led ‘Bama in scoring with 12 point per game and was second in rebounding at 5.7 per game. The Tide will also welcome incoming red-shirt sophomore 6’10”, 240lbs Daniel Giddens to a line-up that returns four starters.

Alabama anchored by current NBA player Alonzo Gee (Denver Nuggets) last visited Canada back in 2007 and finished with a record of 4-1 against the same exact teams, dropping a tight 83-72 decision against the Carleton Ravens who have won seven straight Canadian titles including 13-of the-last-15 championships.

Carleton’s signature win over Alabama was only their second ever against a NCAA division one team after 16-game losing streak from 1999 to 2006. The Ravens current record against NCAA teams in Canada stands at an impressive 26-23 (.531%) record.

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